Paediatrics and Child Health is the medical specialty relating to the care of babies, children and young people. It is a diverse, stimulating and rewarding specialty requiring close involvement with children and their families.
Paediatricians generally work with the acute services of general hospitals, the tertiary sub-specialist services of large Children’s Hospitals or Community Child Health services covering large geographical areas.
Hospital based services include in-patient wards, out-patient clinics, day-care/ambulatory units, paediatric and neonatal intensive care units and a range of tertiary sub-specialties similar to those found in adult medicine.
Community child health services include audiology, education medicine, services for children with cognitive disability, physical disability or behavioural problems, social paediatrics and oversight of child health surveillance.
Common to all areas of paediatrics is the need to work within multi-disciplinary teams in dealing with the ever-growing number of children with chronic and complex disorders.
There are close working relationships with colleagues in other medical specialties such as Paediatric Surgery, Radiology and Child Psychiatry and Allied Health Professionals such as physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians, pharmacists and specialist nurses.
Paediatrics is for you if you enjoy:
- working with children, young people and their families
- the intellectual challenges of managing complex cases
- working in an informal and ever-changing environment
- working as part of a multi-professional team
- the social and ethical aspects of health care
- the role of being an advocate for your patients
- The attributes of a good paediatrician are:
- being a good communicator with children and their families
- having good diagnostic and clinical skills
- having a good sense of humour
- emotional resilience, patience and sensitivity
(Adapted from the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health website)